Work in Progress
Please pardon our progress while we refine the look and functionality of our new ALEX site! You can still access the old ALEX site at If you would like to share feedback or have a question for the ALEX Team, you can use the contact form here, or email us directly at

Learning Resource Type

Classroom Resource

The Same Parts Can Make Many Objects

Subject Area





In this lesson, students will be able to explain that the parts of an object can be rearranged to create a new object. Students will also get a sense of the number of different objects that can be created from a small number of parts and will apply this to modeling atoms and molecules.

Student groups are given four snap cubes and guided to use the four cubes to make eight different objects. Each student is given a picture of one of the possible 29 different objects that can be built from five snap cubes and students build their object. After students build their objects, all 29 are displayed for the class to see. Students do an anagram activity to see that letters can be rearranged to make different words, just like atoms can be rearranged to make different molecules.

    Science (2015) Grade(s): 2


    Demonstrate and explain how structures made from small pieces (e.g., linking cubes, blocks, building bricks, creative construction toys) can be disassembled and then rearranged to make new and different structures.

    Unpacked Content



    • Demonstrate
    • Explain
    • Structure
    • Pieces
    • Disassemble
    • Rearrange
    • Different


    Students know:
    • Different properties are suited for different purposes.
    • A great variety of objects can be built up from a small set of pieces.
    • Structures can be disassembled and rearranged into new and different structures.


    Students are able to:
    • Disassemble a structure into small pieces.
    • Assemble a new structure using the same small pieces.
    • Provide a written and/or oral explanation that correlates with a demonstration detailing the characteristics of the new object or objects.


    Students understand that:
    • Structures may be broken into smaller pieces and a new structure, that is different in size or shape, can be formed from the same pieces.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Energy and Matter
    Link to Resource

    CR Resource Type

    Lesson/Unit Plan

    Resource Provider


    Resource Provider other

    American Chemical Society

    License Type